Metronet, Forrestfield-Airport Link, Perth, Australia
Metro & Depot
Metro & Depot
The $1.86 billion Forrestfield-Airport Link project is a key part of the METRONET program. Spurring off the existing Midland Line, the landmark project will enhance the network by providing three new stations connected by twin-bored tunnels. In April 2016, Public Transport Authority (PTA) awarded the design, construct and maintenance contract for the Forrestfield-Airport Link project to Salini Impregilo–NRW (SI-NRW) Joint Venture.
SI-NRW needed to find a medium to soft vibration attenuation solution for the 8.5km double track and was looking for a fastening system that was slightly less stiff than normal. Pandrol has a long history of supplying contract track products to the PTA and was approached by SI-NRW to suggest possible solutions.
METRONET is an initiative by the State Government of Western Australia to deliver a well-connected Perth with more transport, housing and employment choices. Approximately 72 kilometres of new passenger rail and up to 18 new stations are part of its program.
The PTA was already familiar with Pandrol’s VIPA track fastening system, which has been used successfully in the city since 1997. We proposed the Fastclip Baseplate as a natural evolution of the VIPA system.
The Fastclip Baseplate combines safety, durability and the latest technology in a compact package. Its vibration isolating features made it an excellent option to reduce vibration radiation in the Forrestfield-Airport Link tunnels.
The fastening assembly is highly configurable and we developed a specification that met SI-NRW’s attenuation requirements precisely. We also designed a specially tuned system for short sections of the line where intermediate levels of support were needed for the transition from hard to soft track. Although only 300 of these modified baseplates were needed, they will make a major contribution to passenger comfort once the line opens, ensuring no sudden jolts between different types of track.
The track is being built with pre-cast concrete elements and we worked closely with the sleeper manufacturer to ensure the pre-assembled fastening units could be positioned and tightened into alignment with precision. Once on track, vertical and lateral adjustments can be made without fully disassembling the system.
Rigorous testing – including specialist input by an acoustic engineer – ensured the customised system met the levels of vibration performance required for the Forrestfield-Airport Link. With solution signed off, the castings and clips went into production at our Intercast & Forge foundry in South Australia.
We began supplying the Fastclip Baseplates at the end of 2019 and delivery of all 38,000 units was almost complete when Covid struck. Although our Sydney-based team has been unable to travel to the Perth site since, the smooth progress of the project is testament to the Fastclip Baseplate’s ease of installation.